1st time to Disney - HELP!!!!!

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1st time to Disney - HELP!!!!!

Hubby and I are in our mid 50's, overweight and out of shape. He went to Disney as a child and I have never been. We love the idea of the Animal Preserve or Zoo area but is it really much different than other zoo atmospheres??(our own Columbus, OHio Zoo is pretty perfect, not that I am biased). We are fine with some walking but know we would crash out pretty quickly. Not much for rides so that would be out. After all this info are we still "Disney Worthy". HELP!!!!

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Hi Pattjohn and Welcome! We're so glad that you found us here. I would absolutely still say that you can have a fantastic Disney vacation, regardless of your fitness level. I think the key is to plan well, and to pace yourself, allowing for lots of rest breaks and refreshment stops. Also, even if you aren't much into rides, there is SO much to see and do in all four of the parks, as well as at Downtown Disney and the resorts, that a vacation to WDW will always be a fun destination.

First of all, when will you be going? Do you plan to stay on property? How many days will you be at WDW?

Some of the other things that you might think about...there are a lot of dinner shows (and even a Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.) There are also standalone shows, like Cirque de Soleil.

As for Animal Kingdom, it's pretty spectacular. Disney has taken great pains to create very natural habitats for their animals, and then give guests the opportunity to learn about them in those habitats. There are also terrific educational activities, much like you'd find at Columbus Zoo.

We look forward to hearing more from you about your upcoming trip! We especially love to talk food, so let us know if we can give you a hand with any of your planning!

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Welcome to the forum. You'll find all kinds of great advice here. Animal Kingdom is definitely not zoo like. Its probably the most amazing animal reserve I have ever seen. The Kilimanjaro Safari is truly an amazing experience. It really feels like you are on safari in Africa. I think you and your husband would love it. There are also a lot of great shows to see at Animal Kingdom, so no worries if you're not into thrill rides. How long will you be at WDW? Are you planning to hit any other parks? Epcot's World Showcase is also a big hit with adults. Nothing like walking around the world in one afternoon.

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EVERYBODY is Disney Worthy!

Animal Kingdom is great fun. I've been to some pretty cool zoos (San Diego, D.C., Cleveland), but Animal Kingdom isn't like any of them. You'll ride a trek vehicle through habitats made to look like the natural habitats of animals from all over the world. You'll walk through other natural habitat areas and get up close with the creatures. You'll see a bird show where the birds literally fly right over your head. And Animal Kingdom has two of the best shows in all of Disney World - Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo - The Musical. It's worth going to Animal Kingdom just to see the shows.

Don't skip Epcot! It's most adults' favorite Disney park. You aren't into rides, but most Disney rides aren't "thrill rides," they're more like experiences. At Epcot's Spaceship Earth, you'll see the history of communication. In the Land pavilion you'll get a behind the scenes look at Disney's horticultural work. Ellen's Energy Adventure shows where our energy comes from and what the future of energy might be. Some of the World Showcase pavilions have rides or shows that introduce you to their country's people, culture, and natural wonders. And if you like to eat (who doesn't?), there's all sorts of international specialties all around the World Showcase.

Disney's Hollywood Studios is all about the world of entertainment. The Great Movie Ride celebrates the history of cinema (once again, an experience, not a thrill ride). The Backlot Tour shows you how movies are made. Get a look at how movie stunts are done at the Indiana Jones stunt show or the Lights! Motors! Action! stunt show. Do you like American Idol? Then don't miss the American Idol Experience. And Fantasmic! is probably THE best show in all of Disney World. You don't want to miss it!

As for the Magic Kingdom? That's what most people think of when they think of Disney World. Have you seen any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? Then you'll surely want to check out the ride that inspired the movies. Maybe you had a chance to see It's a Small World at the New York World's Fair when you were a kid? You'll want to see it again here. The Haunted Mansion is a real hoot, and the Hall of Presidents is inspiring. You can easily fill a whole day at the Magic Kingdom without ever setting foot on a thrill ride.

Now, for your age and physical condition issues.

I'm also mid-50s and somewhat overweight. I used to be seriously obese and out of shape, but then I had a heart attack (very minor, just one night in the hospital, felt great since then) and basically had to choose between dying young as a coach potato or cleaning up my act. So I cleaned up my act. Now I (usually) eat healthy (let's be honest, everybody splurges occasionally) and get anywhere from 5 to 10 hours of exercise a week, which includes walking 3 to 5 miles at a time, lifting weights, and using gym equipment such as a treadmill, elliptical, and rowing machine.

Our first and second trips to Disney were pre-heart attack. And let me tell you, they were TOUGH. By the end of each day I was exhausted and sore; by the end of the week my feet and legs hurt so much I could barely walk. My last two trips were post-heart attack, and I was able to walk all over the parks from arrival till closing seven days in a row. Sure, my legs were tired at the end of the day, but after a good night's rest I felt great and was able to do it all over again.

How soon is your trip? Because if it's a few months or more in the future, you have time to get in shape so you can really enjoy the parks instead of feeling like your legs are going to fall off by the middle of your second or third day. Even if it's just one month away, you still have time to get yourselves in somewhat better shape.

So get up NOW and go take a walk. Start small - around the block. Next time, go two blocks. After that, go three blocks and keep increasing your distance each trip. Do this 4 to 6 days a week (the more the better) until you've worked your way up to walking at least 3 miles each time and preferably more. Try to get up to 5 miles per trip if you can, because you WILL walk at least that much per day at Disney World. And if you can, find a local gym and join up because weight training will make you stronger and help prevent osteoporosis.

If your trip is sooner, like next week, well, I'd suggest taking it slow around the parks. Take breaks whenever you can, sit and people watch, and don't jump all over the parks - concentrate on one section at a time, even if it means you don't see as much. Then consider this the beginning of your new exercise regimen and keep on walking once you get back home. I know from personal experience how unappealing exercise is when you're a coach potato. But trust me, once exercise becomes a habit, you won't know how you lived without it. Exercise makes you feel AWESOME!

So get out there and start walking! And then go enjoy Disney World and tell us all about it when you get back!

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This will be our first time to Disney without our daughter. I am very excited about the idea of doing the "grown up" Disney.

What would be the grown up Disney trip of a lifetime??? mickey

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bistta3 wrote:
This will be our first time to Disney without our daughter. I am very excited about the idea of doing the "grown up" Disney.

What would be the grown up Disney trip of a lifetime??? mickey


For me, it would have to include a few days at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the fall. But if your trip is sooner, or later, then book some advance dining reservations at restaurants your daughter wouldn't appreciate.

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Hey PattJohn! (Is that "Patt and John?")

You are definitely "Disney Worthy" and you'll have a great time. I can confirm that the Animal Kingdom is definitely not "zoo like" at all. In fact the early campaign was "nahtazu" (not a zoo).

Also there's tons to do besides rides. In fact we have some members who don't even buy park tickets when they go. Let us know what you like and we can find some great options for you.

bistta3 wrote:
This will be our first time to Disney without our daughter. I am very excited about the idea of doing the "grown up" Disney.

What would be the grown up Disney trip of a lifetime??? mickey

What time of year are you planning on going?

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Welcome and yes Animal Kingdom is so worth seeing. It is a lot of walking though so you will have to pace yourself.

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I agree with scrappy and I should add be sure to pick up a park map because there are very many small paths that lead off and have some great animals that you would not see if you stick to the main pathways.

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Hi PattJohn and welcome! welcome Well I'll start out like everyone else and say "Everyone is Disney worthy", but will you get the Disney bug, that's yet to found out. Most A lot of people ruin the experience because they try to squeeze to much in at once and don't enjoy it, so they end up coming home and saying, "eh, it was okay, but I won't do it again" , and thats the end of it. And alot of us would say, but not to be mean, the more people that go and don't like it means the less crowds we have to deal with the next time we go back!

Scrappy & I are both in our 50's and neither one of us the picture of health, and I had a heart attack this past June wheelchair . We have been doing Disney World since the early 80's and going without children since the early 2000's, we've forgotten how many times we've been there, but we keep wanting to go back. We love Disney!!!!! I gave the bug to Scrappy on our first trip, and thats just the way it is. To us there is a feeling we get there that we can't get anywhere else. We are DVC members since 2004 and love being a part of it.

Oh and like others have said, don't go thinking the Animal Kingdom is a "Zoo". It's not.

Hope to here your report & hope to here you enjoy it! mickey

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Welcome Pattjohn!!! Everybody is Disney Worthy!!

I can only echo many of the things here that have already been said. Animal Kingdom is so much more than a zoo, and the shopping and eating at Epcot is fantastic, many of the countries have lovely movies that you can watch. Pacing yourself is very important, I'm "Pooh Sized" and suffer from Fibromyalgia. I may have to take many breaks during the day but I still have a fantastic time at Disney.

My suggestion for the best way to be able to pace easily and not spend a ton of time traveling to and from you hotel is to pick one of the fabulous Disney Hotels. If you love animals, you may like the Animal Kingdom Lodge! Check out this fan site dedicated to this fantastic Disney hotel AKLResort.com. There's so much to do there you almost don't even have to go to a park! http://www.aklresort.com/

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THANK YOU THANK YOU - Our vacation is scheduled for end of September. Not being familar with Disney much less Florida weather hopefully this will be a good time of year. We will be looking more into Animal Kingdom/Epcot and onsite lodging this weekend. Everyone has given us great thoughts and inspiration. Will check in with more questions I am sure. thanks again to everyone.

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End of September? Depending on when, you might be there for the start of Food & Wine Fest at Epcot. That is an amazing festival. You'll love it!

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pattjohn wrote:
THANK YOU THANK YOU - Our vacation is scheduled for end of September. Not being familar with Disney much less Florida weather hopefully this will be a good time of year. We will be looking more into Animal Kingdom/Epcot and onsite lodging this weekend. Everyone has given us great thoughts and inspiration. Will check in with more questions I am sure. thanks again to everyone.

Are you staying through October?

Be sure to consider Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot Food & Wine Festival if it starts while you're still there.

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welcome

I echo everything already said! Pick a comfortable pace. Stop and rest and drink water!! Save the frostier beverages for relaxing in the evenings. Don't hesitate to go back to your resort mid-day to rest.

There are some great "rides" like the Magic Kingdom train that are fun AND restful. You can ride all the way around the park, see it from a different perspective, and rest. Same for the monorails. We ride them just for the ride, to Epcot or around to the resorts at MK. The Kilimanjaro Safari at AK is also a nice ride. Check the line, though. It can be a long wait if standing is an issue. Each park has that kind of 'ride' that isn't high stress or motion.

And spend some time at Downtown Disney. Shopping and for us, it is a great place to relax! We have grabbed lunch, found a waterside table or bench, and just soaked up the vacation. Crowds are lighter, in general, pace is like a Mall, and it is a great break from the parks. Good food, too!

Did you notice we are all about the food here? laugh

You're gonna have a Great Time!

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Welcome welcome! I concur with just everyone! Everyone is Disney Worthy. One of the best part of Disney (for me) is sitting and people watching. There is tons to do and tons of places to sit and take a break while you're at it! If you plan your trip I hope you'll come back here to do it and let us help you along the way!

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Ahhh! To be young again,(Like in my 50's).
My wife and I made 56 trips to Disney since they opened in the early 70's. Only went to the parks twice in all those years.
Downtown Disney and all the resorts were all we ever needed.
Joe

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Welcome Welcome!!! =) Hope you find lots of great advice here, everyone is full of amazing knowledge!!

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pattjohn wrote:
THANK YOU THANK YOU - Our vacation is scheduled for end of September. Not being familar with Disney much less Florida weather hopefully this will be a good time of year. We will be looking more into Animal Kingdom/Epcot and onsite lodging this weekend. Everyone has given us great thoughts and inspiration. Will check in with more questions I am sure. thanks again to everyone.

Our pleasure! You will have a terrific time. I will let you know that at the end of September, we will likely still be having very summer-like weather: hot and humid, so plan for that. However, anything can happen here! So my advice is to check the local forecast (I like wesh.com) about 5 days out, and you should have a very good idea of what will greet you. Crowds could go either way; as someone mentioned, the Food and Wine fest at Epcot starts Sept 28. It's a delicious way to spend the day! And I've always found opening weekend crowds to be much better and more manageable than closing weekend crowds for that event. mickey

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Hey pattjohn, hope you have a great trip. my family is going down on the 28th of sept, we go for the food and wine festival, it is amazing!! I don't know the details maybe somebody elsel here does but you can rent scooters to ride around the parks and i have seen people getting on and off the monorail and buses with them, so if you don't think you can handle the walking this might be something to look into. I think disney rents them and there are some companies in the orlando area that i believe will rent them to you and deliver them to your resort. Have a MAGICAL time.

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